The cross-country team faced last-minute changes in their meet on Saturday, Oct. 14 when poor air quality from the Northern Californian fires forced them to compete in Idaho. The Redhawks were originally supposed to run in Sunnyvale, Calif. in the Bronco invitational. Just a couple days before competition, they changed plans to go to the Lewis and Clark Invitational in Lewiston, Idaho instead.

The women’s team performed well, with a second-place finish from junior Olivia Stein. Even after a fall in the first 600 meters of the race, she was able to get back up and finish in second. Stein logged a personal record time of 17:27.0 in the 5k race. Senior Johanna Erickson finished in 11th out of 129 competitors with a time of 17:54.4.

“This felt like the first meet where everybody stepped onto the line very focused and very ready to go,” Stein said. “We had most of the girls that are going to be at conference in that race and that was kind of the first time this season everyone has been there and ready.”

The women’s side has three new freshmen this year. Rachel Kastama finished in 24th with a time of 18:24.2 and Megan Delorey placed 32nd at 18:39.8.

“I think this group of girls is really special. All the new freshmen are really dedicated and that’s not something we usually get. We’re really excited because our freshmen are just great,” sophomore Shannan Higgins said. Higgins went on to finish in 40th place with a performance of 18:52.0.

The men’s side raced in the 8k, with junior Eli Boudouris finishing in 28th place in a time of 24:58.0. Behind him was junior Matthew Seidel, who claimed a 46th place finish (25:22:4.).

The Redhawks compete in Las Cruces, NM for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) cross country championships. Last year, the women’s side finished in second place overall and the men’s team finished in third place. The women’s side is very confident in another successful WAC championship.

“We always go in to win. We’re that kind of team,” Higgins said. Individually, the women’s team had a first place finish along with three individual top 10 performances in 2016.

Kelly Sullivan took over as the cross-country head coach for both the men’s and women’s teams at the beginning of this season. “Having a new coach, I’ve never seen people more excited and more ready to do all the little things,” Stein said.

In their past couple meets, the men’s team placed second at the Willamette Invitational in Salem, Oregon, while the women’s team placed third. At the Sundodger Invitational in Lincoln Park, the men’s side finished in third place and the women’s side finished in sixth place.

“Top 3 is the B goal, winning is the A goal,” Stein said. “And I think we can do it.”

Michelle can be reached at
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